We know that it’s not summer yet but if you really want a high season holiday, you need to start thinking about where you want to go now. Might we make a few suggestions? If you want crisp, clear water, blue skies and plenty of scenery, you have to check out the island of Santorini. Not sure what’s really waiting for you in Santorini? Stick around, we have just the information that you’re looking for.
Santorini is a volcanic island within the Greek Islands — the Cyclades group, to be exact. It’s found between Ios and Anafi, which means that you can hop from island to island and expand your trip without spending a lot of extra money. You have stunning, dramatic views, as well as a lot of things that are really unique to Santorini — like the white eggplant. It’s known as a real treat! It has its very own active volcano, and the soil benefits from the volcano big time.
You have black pebble beaches, as well as white beaches and even a red beach. You have to see it to believe it.
There are plenty of small villages to check out as well. If you’re someone that’s way into old school architecture, you have to check out Karterados. Kamari is the village with the black pebble beach, and Firostefani gives you a really good view of the volcano — it’s safe, we promise!
Santorini is also referred to as Thira, for the record. You’ll find a lot of examples of great architecture, and tons of little villages off the beaten path. The volcano sits nearly 900 feet above sea level — wow!
April 1st is the start of the travel season in Santorini, where the weather is really starting to get nice. April-June and September-October are really the two best times to hit the island.
To get in, you want to fly in from Athens mostly. There are some airlines that directly connect from Europe. Most major European cities have direct connections to Santorini through a few charter airlines. You’ll need to make sure that you look this up before you go. From the airport, there’s bus service to Fira, and there are also taxis. You might have a hard time finding an available taxi, so just take the bus.
The island of Santorini has a public bus service. You must make sure that you look at the timetables before you just hop on the bus. Buses tend to run every 30 minutes or so. There are private bus services as well that are a little more organized.
If you really want to rent a car, you can do so. You’ll need to have an International Driver’s Permit, but this isn’t a hard requirement. However, you do put yourself at risk for insurance problems if you don’t have your IDP.
Some people like to even rent ATVs, but your mileage may vary on this. The terrain is a little rocky and you’re going to have to share the road with other people. This makes things a little crowded eventually.
You could also tour the island on foot. A lot of hikers are more than willing to do this, and it provides a nice scenic view of the island. However, it’s not for everyone. Make sure that if you do decide to go on foot that you take plenty of breaks. There are lots of up and downhill climbs and a very rocky surface to deal with.
There’s plenty of things to see on the island. You can look at the steep cliffs that face into the caldera bay, as well as looking at the “smoking” islands around the island itself. You also get to see very beautiful sunsets, marveled by some as the best in the world.
The odd part about Santorini is that there are villages filled with private houses that seem abandoned. They are pretty, so many tourists look through towns as they go through the island. It’s not necessary, but it might be interesting.
If you’re going to travel to the island during high season, you have to check out all of the beaches, but know that they are going to be pretty crowded. Red Beach is popular and it’s also a center for topless sunbathing. If this offends you, you’re going to be in for a real shock. Many women end up getting into topless sunbathing on the Mediterranean beaches, but it’s up to you. No pressure ever.
You can go snorkeling and there’s plenty of sea life to check out.
As an aside, if you’re looking for a nude beach, you have to check out Vlichada. No one will bother you if you decide to hit this beach of course.
There are great wineries on the island, which will give you a chance to sample a lot of different wines unique to the island.
You can also go horseback riding — the village of Exo Gonia is great for that.
If you are going to go somewhere like Santorini, you definitely need to make sure that you eat! Check out that white eggplant (aubergine), along with fresh vegetables and fish. The restraints that have a great view of the caldera or otherwise stunning views will be much more expensive. If you’re trying to save money, go where it looks like the locals are going and avoid where the tourists are!
Other treats: fried tomato balls, cherry tomatoes that are grown on the island (thank goodness for all of that volcanic soil), and tons of world famous wines that are produced locally.
If you’re going to hunt for a hotel, you will need to make sure that you are looking at prices very carefully. Look it up ahead of time. Many hotels on the island have lots of stairs to navigate. This might be tricky for families with kids, but there are other hotels that are set up better for families.
Don’t forget that these hotels will quickly fill, and you also need to realize that the island’s hotels will e closed during the winter. They do all open after the Greek Orthodox Easter has passed.
Are you looking for a super safe place to travel this summer? Santorini is definitely it. You’ll also find internet cafes on the island so that you tell all of your friends and family back home about the great time that you are having on the island. Why not check out more information about the island of Santorini today? You’ll be glad you did!